10+ Years Of Experience

Performance Sports and Spine

We are dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest research and technologies in pain management, and to treating each patient with respect, dignity, and understanding. At Performance Sports and Spine, we strive to improve patient performance, function, and quality of life by providing the most advanced medical care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education, and research. We believe in treating each patient with the compassionate care that we would provide to our own family members. We believe that movement is medicine. We seek to understand the root cause of your pain so that we can create a tailored treatment plan utilizing a multidisciplinary approach. 


Our goal is to improve the quality of life for our patients, helping them to live their lives to the fullest despite the challenges of chronic pain.


Through our dedication to continuous learning and improvement, we strive to be at the forefront of pain management research and practice, and to set the standard for excellence in the field.

About Dr. Raj

Dr. Raj was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and he’s been passionate about functional and physical medicine ever since hitting the squat racks in his small middle school gym. Spending a majority of his free time around his school trainers, he started to understand that any movement is good movement for our bodies so long as it occurs consistently and safely. He believes in incorporating regular physical activity as a means for improving our quality of life, which is why he always tells his patients ‘movement is medicine.’ After his undergraduate studies and medical school, he spent time at Rutgers-Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation performing clinical research in knee osteoarthritis, sports medicine and regenerative medicine. He knew he needed to continue this research and gain additional skills in treating musculoskeletal conditions if he truly wanted to become an expert in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
This lead him to his residency training in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Northwestern Medicine’s Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr Raj appreciated the importance of mobility and its effect on our bodies and health. As Chief Resident, he was able to implement and lead a diagnostic ultrasound curriculum, for his colleagues, to help diagnose and treat musculoskeletal injuries. Additionally, he provided sideline coverage for local high school and college teams with Loyola Sports Medicine, which led him to help create the first tele-concussion clinic in Illinois at Northwestern Medicine.
While in residency, he noticed that many patients’ functional progress was limited by chronic pain. He wanted to do more for these patients but needed additional tools in his armamentarium. He decided to pursue a subspecialty fellowship in Pain Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was able to expand his expertise into a wide variety of chronic pain syndromes, regenerative medicine, pain psychology and addiction medicine. He is currently certified to treat opioid addiction (approximately 5% of all U.S physicians hold this certification). Most importantly, he honed his skills in interventional techniques and minimally invasive surgery to help treat patients’ acute injuries and chronic pain so that they may continue to improve their function and quality of life.
At Northwestern and UW-Madison, he took a special interest in the use of interventional pain procedures and neuromodulation in chronic pain, publishing numerous research papers and book chapters in scientific journals and textbooks on the topic.
He is now double board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine. Dr. Raj believes in utilizing a multidisciplinary and integrative approach to treating chronic pain to minimize functional decline.
Beyond medicine, Dr. Raj enjoys spending free time with his family, reading and exploring new restaurants in different neighborhoods. He firmly believes ‘movement is medicine’ and remains active by practicing yoga, biking and hiking as often as possible.
Dr. Raj Desai